Saturday, April 28, 2012

This Is Really Happening!

I can't believe we are in our second to last weekend in Chicago (we have something going on next weekend).  Time has flown since the plans to move were finalized.  All has fallen into place so well - new job, new house, day care for Henry - that I'm sure this change was meant to be.  All that said, it will still be very hard to leave here on May 17th.

I have resigned to the fact that we simply don't have time to make the rounds to all of our Chicago "favorites" before we leave, but we are doing our best to squeeze in what we can.  Tonight we had dinner at one of John's faves, Smoque. With Henry in tow, we waited in line - mostly outside in the 48 degree weather - for 45 minutes to order the best barbeque Chicago has to offer. It was well worth the wait! The food was amazing, and Henry was such a good little people watcher!

I have reassured John that he won't have any trouble finding a great spot for ribs in Tulsa - there are plenty of great bbq places around town.  The real question is where I'm going to get my weekly manicure - any tips Tulsa friends?

So, as we count down the last 19 days before we leave, we are trying to get all the Chicago we can get! Since we are both still working, and super busy with the bambino, we know we won't get around to all our favorite spots before we go, it will be a great excuse to come visit (that, and all my Chicago friends' babies that are due this summer that I have to come back and meet and squeeze).

Henry playing with his favorite stuffed cow and waiting patiently for some delicious bbq!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Big Changes

"Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning."

Yes, I just quoted a mediocre Sandra Bullock movie from the '90s. However, I can't think of more appropriate words to describe the big changes that are going on with us right now.  As of May 17th, we will no longer be Chicagoans. We are moving back to Tulsa so we can be near family and give Henry the same kind of childhood we had, which we just don't believe is possible here in Chicago.

While we are excited to begin this new chapter of our life, the move is definitely bittersweet.  A lot of wonderful (and not so wonderful) things have happened to us during our seven years in Chicago, so the decision to leave was not an easy one. The City of Big Shoulders played pretty hard to get at first, but once we got past her rough exterior, she's been a pretty good friend to us.

I think back to when we moved here just a few days after I graduated from law school and John graduated from art school. We knew a total of two people here and didn't even have jobs, but we couldn't have been more excited for our big city adventure as we drove up Lake Shore Drive for the first time on our way to our new apartment.  Seven years, and lots of tears, trials, and triumphs later, we both have wonderful jobs and dear friends that will be really difficult to leave.

I know there will be lots of tears on my part when we drive past the downtown skyline for the last time as a Chicagoans while on our way out of town on May 17th. But we are truly excited to start this new chapter of our lives and rediscover our hometown.

So while the Hope Floats quote might be corny, I can't think of a truer way to describe our time here in Chicago. We had a rough start, we persevered and had some of the best years of our lives, and we are definitely sad to go.

Thank you, Chicago.  We will miss you.  It's been real.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Henry's First Easter!

The Easter Bunny was good to little Mr. Henry today! We started out the day by opening up the super cute Easter basket that Grandmomma sent.  Then we went to brunch with Steph, Scott, and Jim at Bin Cafe in Bucktown. It was such a gorgeous day that we strolled along Milwaukee and hit a few of the shops before coming home to relax on the balcony.  All in all it was a great first Easter for Henry and our new little family! Can't wait until next year when he can participate in some egg hunts.  Happy Easter!
Henry and his adorable Easter basket, complete with his name on it!

Attempting a family pic

Perfect timing/major photo fail

Friday, April 6, 2012

4 Month Letter

Dear Henry,
The past month has been a time of major "firsts" for you: first time to roll over, first belly laugh, first poop that made me gag and nearly vomit. You are growing so fast that we can hardly keep up! In fact, when we were at the doctor for a little checkup last week, you weighed 15 lbs, 5 oz - so big!

You continue to love day care. You are all smiles the minute we walk in the door to your classroom. My favorite part of the day is when we come to pick you up. I just love to pop in and see what you are doing without you even realizing I'm there. Then you finally catch sight of me and break into the biggest smile ever!

You're still not an awesome napper at home, but you're sleeping longer every night and have started to be able to put yourself to sleep. I love listening to you talk to yourself as you're falling asleep, literally cooing until the point that you're knocked out. You have the sweetest little voice, and your talking is a combination of little coos and a funny staticky noise you make with your mouth, all with a huge slobbery smile!

Your dad and I learn something new about being parents every day. Sometimes we make it through the day feeling like we've triumphed over the hurdles, and some days we feel like we just can't win. But the good news is that we are all still standing (or in your case, at least holding your head up) at the end of each day. Thanks for being so forgiving, and I can't wait to continue this adventure with you.


His own seat on a plane - such a big boy!

I came to pick him up at day care the other day and walked in on him wearing this! I guess his teachers were having a bit of a laugh at his expense, but I find this pic hysterical, too!

In a Polo shirt, just like dad!